Wall Street set for muted open after jobs, inflation data By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A trader works on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 5, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

By Devik Jain and Ambar Warrick

(Reuters) -Wall Street’s main indexes were set to open flat on Thursday as investors weighed data showing a steady jobs market recovery against a rise in producer prices, ahead of earnings reports from major companies including Walt Disney (NYSE:).

The Labor Department’s report showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, as expected, while a separate reading showed U.S. producer prices rose more than expected through July.

The inflation reading came on the heels of data that showed growth in consumer prices appeared to be slowing. The consumer price index and personal consumption data are usually the preferred inflation gauges of the Federal Reserve when altering monetary policy.

“The inflationary transitory camp is winning the debate and as the fear of inflation somewhat ebbs … equities have a certain tendency to outperform,” said Sebastien Galy, senior macro strategist at Nordea Asset Management.

The benchmark and the blue-chip logged record closing highs on Wednesday, as investors moved into economy-linked value stocks from technology-heavy shares following the passage of a large infrastructure bill.

The S&P 500 value index has gained 2% so far this month and is on track to outperform its growth counterpart for the first time since June.

“They’re mostly cyclical, are cheap, and therefore people feel more comfortable about holding value, particularly if they think that the business cycle is going to improve going forward, as evidenced by lower inflation and a better labor market,” Galy said.

At 8:55 a.m. ET, were up 27 points, or 0.08%, were down 1.75 points, or 0.04%, and were down 27.75 points, or 0.18%.

In earnings-related moves, Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:)’s U.S. shares fell 2.2% even after the company posted upbeat quarterly revenue, buoyed by a rebound in advertising sales and higher demand for its artificial intelligence and cloud products.

EBay Inc slipped 1.2% after forecasting third-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates, signaling that reopening economies and vaccine rollouts could be putting an end to the pandemic-led shopping boom.

Palantir Technologies Inc gained 9.5% after the U.S. data analytics firm beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue and forecast current-quarter sales above expectations.

Earnings report from Walt Disney Co, home rental firm Airbnb Inc and food-delivery firm DoorDash Inc are due later in the day.

DoorDash was up 1.0% on a report that the company held talks to buy grocery delivery firm Instacart for a likely price of between $40 billion and $50 billion.

Rate-sensitive lenders JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:), Wells Fargo (NYSE:) & Co, Bank of America Corp (NYSE:) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:) edged higher before the opening bell.

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